London Councils conducts research, analysis, and communications at all stages of the Government’s financial planning cycle. This includes press releases, media statements, and consultation responses to inform and influence key stages of government financial activities. This broadly consists of three major events:
The Government sets out its overarching spending plans through regular Spending Reviews. These typically cover three or four years but can be supplemented by single year Spending Rounds to cover any gaps between one full Spending Review and the next should circumstances make an interim measure more appropriate. The most recent iteration of this, the 2019 Spending Round, falls into the latter category, covering only 2020-21. A multi-year spending review is expected later this year. Spending Reviews play an important role in limiting the total quantum of resource available to local government by setting departmental expenditure limits for the period that they cover.
The Government updates its plans for taxation and expenditure based on the latest economic indicators. Since the duty to publish two annual economic forecasts was introduced in the mid-1970s, some Chancellors have chosen to effectively have two fiscal events each year; a full budget and a separate statement, both timed to coincide with the economic reporting. Following the 2019 General Election, a Spring budget will take place in March. London Councils submits representations to this on behalf of the London Boroughs, past versions of which can be accessed below.
Local Government Finance Settlements
Annual funding allocations to individual local authorities are determined each year through the Local government finance settlement process, which must fit within the spending control totals set out in the Spending Review. The process begins with the publication of a technical consultation paper in the autumn before the publication of the provisional local government finance settlement in December. There is then a short consultation on the provisional settlement before allocations are confirmed early in the new year. London Councils responds to these consultations to highlight London’s views, needs, and issues, and previous submissions can be accessed here
Budget: submissions, responses, possible briefings
- Budget 2020 (PDF)
- Budget 2018
- Representation ahead of Autumn Budget 2018 (PDF)
- Budget 2017
- Autumn Budget 2017 - our reaction
- Spring Budget 2017 - our representation to Government (PDF)
- Budget 2016
London Councils expects a spending round in 2020, which will provide a multiyear settlement for Local Government.